My rating: 5 of 5 stars
‘Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.”
So amazing, it had all the tropes in a book that I love. So I loved it a lot.
Based on the feudal era Japan, this story takes off when a ship from England, searching for this mysterious land, catch up with a really nasty storm and ends up being dragged to a smaller piece of land. While trying to repair the ship, they are attacked by Japanese pirates and all of them are killed except a twelve-year boy named Jack who somehow survives.
Who is dragged to the land by a savior, he is a really looked up to Samurai of the village that’s near this port.
His own son was killed by a ninja exactly two years ago, so he considers it a sign and takes Jack into his adoption.
Things happen and Jack is taken to the Samurai school in Kyoto, where he has to learn all the arts of being a Samurai while dealing with quite a lot of racism.
I just love myself a book with Japan. I have grown up watching solely animes, so it was like a throwback to my early middle-grade life. I also will always love a book with Academy aspect. Especially I enjoy reading about training though it is always in the danger of being dragged. Luckily, Bradford was really good at keeping it minimal and interesting. The pacing of this book was really strong.
Though the beginning felt like a retelling of Shogun is middle-grade version. the story did improve and escalated quickly. A nice, breezy book with really interesting characters, I loved it. Though as I mentioned, it’s a me situation. I love all of these tropes and Bradford played with them nicely thus I adored it. I will still recommend it but read it with that in mind. 😀